Putin and Erdogan meet in Istanbul to inaugurate TurkStream natural gas pipeline

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul today to inaugurate the TurkStream natural gas

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Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul today to inaugurate the TurkStream natural gas pipeline.

The TurkStream project represents a significant geopolitical victory for Putin and Erdogan. The pipeline—projected to transport 31.5 billion cubic metres of gas from Russia to Turkey and on to Eastern Europe per year—will boost Russia’s economy and help cement Turkey as a regional energy hub.

Today’s inauguration comes within days of Turkey pledging to send troops to Libya to support the Tripoli-based, UN-recognised government against rebels backed by Moscow. Despite differences in Libya, Moscow and Ankara have proven capable of overcoming disagreements to find common ground, such as jointly monitoring areas of Syria despite supporting different factions in the country’s civil war.

The inauguration underlines the fact that despite certain geopolitical disagreements, Russia and Turkey are increasingly cooperating to manage regional affairs, especially after the US withdrawal from Syria and rising tensions between Washington and Ankara. Expect TurkStream’s inauguration to outweigh differences between Russia and Turkey in Libya—there is simply too much to gain economically for the two countries.

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